Samantha Shokin is a writer and musician based in Brooklyn.
As I came to embrace my Ukrainian heritage, I tried to find out what really happened to my great-grandfather in Kyiv during WWII. A collection of old letters finally offered some clues.
Crimea-born actress Alla Nazimova was once the highest-paid film actress in the world. After a series of scandals and box-office flops, her name is mostly lost to history.
As a child, I yearned to leave southern Brooklyn’s enclave of Soviet Jewish immigrants. But watching old home movies decades later, I saw the place in a new light.
Trying several varieties of forshmak on a recent trip to Ukraine sent me back to my own kitchen, trying to recreate the recipe for minced herring my grandmother used to make
As the daughter of Soviet Jewish immigrants, I used to call myself ‘Russian’—but a trip to Kyiv offered me a new perspective, and a new language
I used to think the language was hopelessly uncool. Now I’ve changed my tune.
JetLAG, the largest open-air Russian music gathering in the United States, is an archipelago of post-Soviet affinity groups nestled on the banks of the Делавэр River in the Catskills
How theremin virtuosa Clara Rockmore’s life and loves shaped her eerie music
How the center of a Russian-guitar culture ended up in the American Midwest, under the stewardship of its greatest enthusiast
My winding journey through music mirrored my journey of Jewish discovery
Dispatch from the inaugural Brighton Beach Pride Parade in south Brooklyn
I grew up hating my curly, unruly frizz. But on a trip to Israel, I found people who celebrated kinky locks—theirs and mine.